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  1. #1
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    Too late to get into the games market?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning to start a gaming company together with a friend. Developing games and making a living with it is very tempting, as it is probably the case for most of you. But the question is: can you actually (still) make a living this way?

    I hear two contrary things when it comes to the mobile gaming business: on the one hand, the growth rate of mobile games sales seems to be on very high level. I read for example about a well-established mobile gaming company that they are expecting to quadruple their sales next year, and they are having already sales about 3 million Euros. Until 2006, the european market is expected to have sales in the range of 7 billion per year. Not bad news for game developers, I'd say :-)

    Then, on the other hand, I heard from a owner of a mobile game portal, which is running very well, not so encouraging things. He said: one year before, they were desperately seeking developers for creating Java games for mobile devices. They couldn't get enough content for their site. Today, things have changed dramatically. Since it is pretty easy to develop games and everybody wants to get into it, they are receveing so many games that they mostly pay attention only to the big companies.

    The question I'd like to raise is: is the market already dead for small companies and developers? Does anyone of you have made experiences with selling games? Of course, even though it might be hard today to get into the market, I wouldn't give up my intentions, because I want to make games, so this is what I do. But I'd very interested to hear your opinion and/or experiences, if you like to share them.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Bernhard
    ---

  2. #2
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    Good point you got there!

    A year ago there was no content, so providers were glad to publish anything they could get their hands on. But now, we have like 20 variants of pacman, 10 of super mario, 15 of boulderdash etc etc. Who is interested in a 50th version of space invaders? Another thing is that this market is very easy to pirate... If you distribute the game yourself you can get around this problem ofcourse.

    But, I think the market isn't closed yet at all. First of all, a year ago's phone couldn't do the things a phone can do now, and if you go along with that, you can use new techniques to improve the quality of your game. Though, this requires more skills as well.

    If you can think of some originality in your game, it distinguishes from the majority and gets more wanted as well. Furthermore, controls are very important. If you lack controls, the game won't be playable and people don't play it.

    So basically, if you try to get all out of that phone to create that stunning game, you are definately in.

  3. #3
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    I'm starting a game company too here in Brazil.

    Yeah, I saw big companies in this market I said: "I will not do anything good compared to these big companies! I'm lost!"

    And now I was thinking, there a lots of variations of various games, right? Yeah, right. But what you really need in this market is creativity, make something new and innovator. And not only innovation, there is a lot of small companies games that is better than big companies games because they are smaller, faster to play and simpler. Another tip is to not do anything too much complicated, people who plays in a phone don't want to lost their battery life in a game and play these games when they have only a little time for fun (while waiting a bus, for example).

    Well, It's my opinion. I will not give up of mobile game development because this still is a new market. There is space for new ideas and developers, so, I will stay in mobile game development!

    Ivan Valerian
    Last edited by ivanodin; 2003-11-23 at 17:37.

  4. #4
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    Hi!

    I am only a hobby developer, and i have not sold a game yet (i hope i will sell some in the near future), but i think that it is important to try to sell the games in as much countries as possible. Not only sell in germany, but also in the netherlands, china, greece,...

    McMc

    www.bytemaniac.com

  5. #5
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    I'm a hobby developer too, and I have released and sold a game.
    My experiences:
    - There is no "big company", you can be the best if you want. It sounds like a "just do it", because it is. The only thing you need is time, at least 320 hours per day...
    - As a hobby developer you have no too much chance. For a "company" there need at least a : manager, lawyer, artist, pr, marketing manager, developer... Too many skill for a sigle man. Maybe sounds strange, but if you step over first steps, you will understand.

    Now, Nokia Software Market have a page, where I can track my sellings (hurray!): avg.: 1 game/day. Poor, but it's half of my girlfriend's salary. It's not a bad money in my country. The biggest gate is just my time. I guess, if I can spend 10*time, I would have 10*money.

    With two full time developer, you have good chances, but really no time to waste.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the encouraging feedback! I also think that there's a lot of space for creativity in this market, since it is just starting to evolve. Still, it is harder to get your game to a broader public, even when it is a good one. Because of the many games available today, you have to put more effort into marketing, and established companies are in a better position for this. But it all depends on how the demand for mobile games is developing. Chances are propably still good.

    @kisember: good luck with your game! Which one is it?

  7. #7
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    The marketplaces for selling mobile games are quite limited. Not the number of marketplaces, but the quality of them. Looking at the sites like Handango, Nokia Software market and other big network operators. 95% of the games get 0 or below 5 sales. Two weeks later after posting, your game will be put to page 2, 3... and never get attention again.

    The real business model is to partner with your local mobile phone manufacturer. Sell to them as a mobile phone build-in game, and get as much as you can.

    It is very hard for hobby programmers or small companies to survive in the real business world. There are too many new entries in this market. Some are good, some are bad. The difference is not just the product itself, but also the marketing.

  8. #8
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    Yes, the key is the marketing.
    With a good marketing sense, and a prety nice splash screen you can make money. Unfortunatly the quality is very low. There are tons of free, useless games. If somebody eg. try two fruit machine of them, he won't buy a good quaility one, because he frustrated already. Low quality games kills the market.


    @baegsi : 1912 rescue (in 6600, 3650, N-Gage section)

  9. #9
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    kisember
    Recently I decided to try your game. It looks really nice and on Nokia Software Market they say, that trial version is fully functional.

    However, I could not find any trial link either on Nokia site or on your own. Could I get it from somewhere?

  10. #10
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    One reason for so many developers now working on Java games is that many large games companies closed in 2002/2003. Lots of talented people were out of work so they looked for small projects to create to get some money in while looking for new jobs. Also, a lot of large companies - doing console games - kill the creativity of their developers with poor salaries and long hours so the developers leave to do something original and fun.

    As long as you have a load of money in the bank to live, developing games is fun. Think small, think original. Don't spend a year developing a game until its 100% perfect - a decent project should be completed in under three months (assuming one artist, one programmer) though your first title may take longer as you write tools and learn how good/bad some phones are and how easy/difficult it can be to get your product to work on multiple handsets.

  11. #11
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    @doctordwarf:
    Wish I could know why Nokia ask in their spreadshet for web site and demo version if it isn't appear on their site? I made demo versions because it is a 'feature'. Prevent from ramp.

    My wap site suddenly lost! Nice to know that this could happens. Backup is my best frend right now. All the thing available now.
    You can download demos from my ugly web site (www.kisember.com) by click on the appropirate geen jad/jar button, or from my wap site (wap.kisember.com)

  12. #12
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    Hi folks,
    I feel the market hasnt yet exploded. The best way to do things is to tie up with existing service providers(both GSM & CDMA). Lets us do it before Microsoft wakes up.
    All the best.
    bye
    Amit

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